Random House: 2/4/2014
Ebook; 280 pages
Never a doubt. Never a mistake. Always for justice. Never for revenge. She’s the person you hire when you need something fixed—permanently. With a strict set of criteria, she evaluates every request and chooses only a few. No more than one job per country, per year. She will only step in if it’s clear that justice will not be served any other way. Her jobs are completed with skill and precision, and never result in inquiry or police investigation. The Fixer is invisible—and quite deadly. . . .
In the office of a clinical psychologist in Olympia, Washington, a beautiful young woman is in terrible emotional pain. She puts up walls, tells lies, and seems to speak in riddles, but the doctor is determined to help her heal, despite the fact that she claims to have hurt many people. As their sessions escalate, the psychologist feels compelled to reach out to the police . . . but it might be too late.
In Seattle, a detective gets a call from his son. A dedicated journalist, he wants his father’s expertise as he looks into a suspicious death. Together they follow the trail of leads toward a stone-cold hired killer—only to find that death has been closer than either could have imagined.
The Fixer: A Justice Novel by T. E. Woods is a very highly recommended debut novel in a new series of thrillers featuring Detective Mort Grant and psychologist Lydia Corriger. Look for the second book, Red Hot Fix, due to be released on June 10, 2014.
The Fixer is the person people hire when they need something fixed - but we aren't talking about siding or plumbing problems. The Fixer tackles the big jobs, the personal jobs. The Fixer is contacted when an injustice needs to be made right or can only be handled by having someone eliminated to pay for their misdeeds. However, even though The Fixer is a vigilante/assassin, she does follow a strict moral code. She needs to hear the details and then she will decide if she is going to "fix" the problem. And, yes, The Fixer is a woman.
"The Fixer never strayed from the rules she set for herself six years ago. No more than one job per country per year. Never less than two months between assignments. Only when it was clear that justice couldn’t or wouldn’t be served would she consider a case. Her jobs rarely raised a coroner’s inquest, and never a police investigation. The Fixer was invisible."
The Fixer is hired to eliminate Dr. Fred Bastian, chair of the university neuroscience department, because of the extreme cruelty he has shown in his research involving animals. Bastian is believed to have died from a heart attack until a graduate researcher from another department is brutally murdered. Soon it becomes clear that the two cases may be related but the question is how. Mort Grant is on the investigation.
At the same time there is a second mystery. Psychologist Lydia Corriger is seeing a beautiful patient who calls herself Savannah. She won't tell the truth about her life, sharing what she chooses to in cryptic sentences instead, but she claims she is a bad person, broken, and she needs to be fixed. Lydia never knows when Savannah will show up and she is not sure what it is that Savannah has done that is so awful.
The writing was excellent. The story moved swiftly along. Woods provided just the information she wanted us to have for that part of the story until the two mysteries begin to merge. There is a major reveal half way through the novel that had me pause and go back to reread the last chapter to make sure I hadn't inadvertently missed something. The pace is quick and the suspense keeps the tension mounting right up to the end.
All the characters were well developed. Maybe it is because author Woods is a clinical psychologist herself, but there is a keen insight into the characters, what they are thinking about and struggling with, along with how they approach life. They all come across as real people, flawed and wounded, but real.
I really enjoyed The Fixer and am anxiously looking forward to the second book, Red Hot Fix.
Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Random House for review purposes.
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